Private, Commercially Operated, Non-Sectarian Schools May Not Racially Discriminate in Their Admissions Policies
Collins, James Orvid
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The parents of two African-American students sought entrance into private schools for their children but were denied because of race. The respondents filed an action in United States District court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as damages. On appeal at all levels the courts, including the Supreme Court, found in favor of the petitioners. The Court in Runyon v. McCrary outlined the issues as being whether section 42 U.S.C. § 1981 can be used to prohibit private, commercially operated, non-sectarian schools from denying admission to prospective black students, and if so, whether section 1981 would be constitutional as so applied. The majority, however, held that section 1981 rested on both the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments and was thus not limited to state discrimination.